You can measure the impact of your campaigns across various channels and optimize your marketing activities with the Revenue attribution service.
Revenue attribution is the process of matching customer sales data to specific marketing communication touchpoints in order to:
- understand where revenue is coming from,
- understand which channels are more successful and leading to conversions,
- optimize your marketing activities and
- maximize the efficiency of your marketing budget.
Please note that when a contact is deleted, all of the data relating to that contact is also deleted. This will retrospectively affect any reports which use contact-level data. Contact deletion affects all reports that retrieve data from the Revenue Attribution Service. For more information, see Checking the results of Revenue Attribution and Trend reporting.
For more information on the effects of contact deletion, see What happens to deleted contacts in Emarsys?
How does it work?
The Revenue Attribution Service assigns the value of purchases to marketing touchpoints (e.g. email clicks) based on the selected calculation model and time window. In this way, the service can attribute the conversion to a single or multiple touchpoints.
Currently, the Revenue Attribution Service does not support multi-touchpoint models.
By default, the Revenue Attribution Service uses Web Extend data and it can use Smart Insight sales data. The default settings of the service include:
- Smart Insight data if the
timestampfield in the sales data uploaded to Smart Insight includes the timezone. Otherwise, the service will use Web Extend data,
The Revenue Attribution Service retrieves sales data from the Data Platform that automatically converts timestamps and timezone. In some cases, it does not properly recognize that data coming from Smart Insight. As a result, it might happen that revenue could be attributed to a time before a message-specific event actually happened.
Both Smart Insight and the Data Platform support the following format: 2020-07-24T05:00:01+06:00. It is important to set up Smart Insight to send purchases to the Data Platform accordingly. For more information, see the timestamp field.
- The calculation starts running every 4 hours at approximately 00:00 UTC, 04:00 UTC, 08:00 UTC, 12:00 UTC, 16:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC.
- You can check the Revenue Attribution settings, including the Attribution Model or Attribution Window, on the Management > Revenue Attribution page. Your Account Administrator can change these settings.
- If you change your Revenue Attribution settings (i.e. the Attribution Model or Window) and you would like your data to reflect the changes retrospectively, then Emarsys should recalculate your Revenue Attribution data. In this case, please contact Emarsys Support.
The model used by the Revenue Attribution Service. The following methods are available:
- First Touch - This model gives 100% of the credit to the message that initiated the very first interaction between a customer and your company.
We recommend using this model if:
- You would like to determine which channels are the most effective in increasing brand or service awareness.
- Short sales cycles are typical in your business and
- Your primary goal is demand generation and to increase brand awareness.
- Last Touch - This model attributes 100% of the generated revenue to the last touchpoint made before the purchase. It reveals what closed the deal and helps you determine which campaigns have the highest conversion rates.
We recommend using this model if the primary goal of your Attribution Model is to see the conversion of your campaigns.
It determines how long, after a customer interaction a purchase can still be attributed to it. The Revenue Attribution Service will analyze marketing communication that was sent to your customers before they made a purchase based on the selected time period.
The value specified for the Attribution Window should be between 1 and 365 days.
Data sources used by the Revenue Attribution Service
The Revenue Attribution Service uses one of the following data sources:
The Revenue Attribution Service attributes revenue to the following actions and touchpoints depending on your configuration:
- Email behavior data (clicks and opens)
Please note that the iOS 15 update will block the tracking of email opens, so if you selected email open data as a Revenue Attribution touchpoint, then it will affect your attributed revenue. For more information, see iOS 15 update blocks tracking of email opens.
- Push message behavior data (opens)
- SMS data (sends and clicks)
- Web Push (clicks)
- Only the Email behavior data click touchpoint is enabled by default. Until there are no clicks made in any email campaign (e.g. in the case of new accounts), Emarsys cannot attribute revenue to any channel and the No data to show message will be displayed on the Revenue Analytics screen. To avoid this issue, send out an email campaign and click in it by using test users. To modify your settings, follow the instructions in Configuring the Revenue Attribution settings.
- From the touchpoints listed above, the Revenue Attribution Service can attribute revenue to campaigns and automated programs (i.e. Automation Center and Interactions programs) by using email click, open, Push open and SMS data (sends and clicks).
To use the Revenue Attribution Service, either Smart Insight or Web Extend has to be activated on your account. By default, this service uses Web Extend data. If the sales data uploaded to Smart Insight includes the timestamp and timezone for each purchase event, then it can be the data source for the Revenue Attribution Service.
If you would like to use the Revenue Attribution Service but neither Smart Insight nor Web Extend is activated on your account, please contact your Client Success Manager.
Configuring the Revenue Attribution settings
For more information, see Revenue Attribution settings.
Checking the results of Revenue Attribution
Why have changes been made to the figures in the Smart Insight, Strategic Reporting, Trend reporting and Result summary pages?
The reason for this is that we have made improvements to the method of calculating revenue attribution. This might make some slight changes to the figures reflected in the respective reports, including small adjustments of your retrospective metrics.
Why do numbers look different when I change the data sources used by the Revenue Attribution Service from Web Extend to Smart Insight?
The Revenue Attribution Service uses your Web Extend session purchase data by default or your Smart Insight sales data (if that is enabled). There are differences between the two data sources:
- Smart Insight takes into account your online and offline purchase data. Moreover, to ensure that your data is accurate and consistent, you can check the quality of your Smart Insight purchase data and troubleshoot any data-related issues on the Data Quality page.
- Web Extend tracks only purchases by using a script that is running on your website. (The Data Quality page is only available for Smart Insight.)
The Revenue Attribution Service calculations start running every 4 hours at approximately 00:00 UTC, 04:00 UTC, 08:00 UTC, 12:00 UTC, 16:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC. Therefore, the results may vary if you check them before or after the calculations run.
Why are there discrepancies between the metrics of Google Analytics and Emarsys?
Differences between Emarsys and Google Analytics are due to the differences between the data gathered by the Emarsys Platform (e.g. email or Push) and Google Analytics respectively. Google Analytics data relies heavily upon website traffic and Google Ads data. Additionally, based on the various settings and technologies used to configure data collection, there are differences in how each attribute is collected respectively.
Differences between the results shown in Emarsys and Google Analytics may occur for the following reasons:
- Data is collected by using different scripts on these platforms, which means that purchases are not tracked in exactly the same way.
- The channels taken into account by the specific model are different. For example, attribution in Google Analytics also includes search data and paid ads, which are not taken into consideration by the model used in Emarsys. In such a case, a purchase can be attributed to the email channel in Emarsys and to another channel in Google Analytics.
- The Attribution Model (i.e. first click, last click etc.) and Attribution Window can be set differently in the two platforms.
Our recommendation on using metrics
Instead of comparing your results produced by the different platforms to each other, we recommend constantly monitoring your performance and using a baseline of your choice to evaluate the outcomes. For instance, you can compare the results of a campaign to that of other campaigns or check if the impact of your campaigns are indicating an increasing or decreasing trend.
How can I resolve these discrepancies?
To eliminate such discrepancies, take a purchase and check the campaign to which it was assigned in Emarsys and Google Analytics. If there are differences, you can check if the specific purchase:
- is missing either from Emarsys or Google Analytics,
- was assigned to another campaign,
- does not appear in Emarsys or Google Analytics at all.
To do the investigative work and find out where the discrepancies come from, you can request custom purchase reports from Emarsys support. Use the custom report along with the purchase data that you can obtain from the Emarsys Platfrom UI to compare the details with the relevant bits of Google Analytics data.
For the downloadable data, use Download purchase data button in Site Traffic Reporting.
If the specific purchase is missing from:
- Google Analytics, then the parameters attached to the tracked links that are used for identification are either missing or they are not transmitted correctly. In this case, check the contact’s campaign and if the parameters are truncated or the target server does not process them properly, then contact your IT department to resolve the issue.
- Emarsys or it was not assigned (or it is no longer assigned) to the proper campaign, then the Attribution Window is set to a different interval in Emarsys than in Google Analytics, cookies were removed or the script on the website did not submit the purchase to Emarsys. To resolve any of these issues, please contact your IT department.
Is it possible to check how revenue is distributed across different sales channels?
Known issues and limitations
- The Revenue Attribution Service does not attribute down to the level of a particular element or section of an email for example.
- The Revenue Attribution Service does not take touchpoints outside Emarsys (e.g. Google Ads, Facebook Ads or affiliate networks) into consideration.